James Fogarty is a very talented musician from the UK with a message and drive to create and deliver great music he is known for his work with In The Woods and the amazing solo project Ewigkeit.He has a really great body of work and I recently had the absolute pleasure of asking James a few questions about the latest Ewigkeit release Disclose how he got into music and a few things in between.
Jai Q:First off how and when did you get into playing music? When did you get into heavy metal and how?
James: I think that by the time i was 12, I had decided that all I cared about was doing something in metal as I was a massive Maiden fan. Guitar was my entry to writing music and I quickly progressed to listening to heavier stuff and wanting to play it. By age 14 I was kicked out of school and there wasn’t really anything else that interested me.
Jai Q:What were some of your early influences that helped and inspire you, when you were first starting out as a musician?
James: Being the youngest of five kids, I grew up in a house of teenagers and so was quite well aware of the stuff they liked. When I became interested in music, I raided my brother’s record collection and the albums that really grabbed me initially were The Doors, so they have always been a favourite. He didn’t have much “heavy” stuff (but was good stuff like Floyd, Hawkwind etc), so I quickly found some older kids who were fans of Metal and get some mix tapes – the bands got heavier and more obscure and in the space of two years I was listening to death metal. The music that really made me think “holy shit, I have to do my own stuff” was the early Norwegian Black Metal releases of Emperor, Burzum, In The Woods, Gehenna, Darkthrone…
Jai Q:Ewigkeit how did this one man project begin?And what was the motivation behind it?
James: I think that when I was about 15 I was playing death metal and discovering Black Metal (about 1993) and I wanted to spend every day working on music, but my mates could only spend Saturday afternoon on it. I think that when I heard that Burzum was a one-man band, I thought “wow – i can try that” and I started looking into how I would go about recording music by myself. I first started with some really shitty budget keyboard where you could manually programme basic drums and keys, a guitar & amp and a really cheap microphone. I recorded by playing guitar and vocals live along with the keyboard through a mono mixer into the back of a borrowed stereo. The msuic was really basic, and the sound was abysmal. However, it should me that I could do it and i continued from there – I recorded my first solo album 3-4 years later.
Jai Q: Is it easier being a solo project to grow and evolve Ewigkeit as you see fit?
James:Its just different writing and recording by yourself. Firstly, you are limited by how far you can push it because there is just you pushing it and you cant play live easily. Secondly, people tend not to like solo projects because they assume it is done for egotistical reasons. I’ve never been interested in being well-known or anything like that – I just really get a lot personally out of recording music that I want and seeing it through to the finish. It’s a full-time hobby most of the time – but I have done quite a lot of different stuff that few bands have achieved. I’m getting more personal fulfillment from music now than I have ever done – it’s the best therapy going !
Jai Q:How do you approach the songwriting and song creation on this album and on your previous releases?
James: Each album has been very different – some are collections of songs from a period of time (Battle Furies, Cosmic Man), some are an adventure (Land of Fog) and some are based around a rigid concept (Conspiritus, Disclose). Early on I primarily wrote on the keyboards and the guitars and vocals were very much secondary. The last album with Earache records (Conspiritus) was the first and only album with 100% clean vocals, so I got to experiment a bit with my voice. After having a break for 8 years (2005-13) I really got back into using the guitar as a compositional instrument, and that has really propelled me back into music again.
Jai Q:Did you have a set vision for each album?
James: Certainly for ‘Conspiritus’, which was a concept album about a hypothetical global conspiracy to enslave mankind. DISClose is also along those lines, being about the myths, history and legends of UFOlogy. I can be quite obsessive about subjects and totally emmerse myself in them for a few years. For example, I still havent fully got my interesting in UFOs out of my system after 2 years ! My interest is, however, diversifying into different directions now.
Jai Q:How do you feel you have grown and evolved as a musician since first starting Ewigkeit?
James; Well, I have done a lot of music aside from Ewigkeit, but that is where my starting point is. I have learned how to musically assemble everything myself, I’ve learned about artwork, promotion, how to lose money, seen a lot of sides of the music industry from obscure Metal labels right up to multinational media companies and everything inbetween. The one thing I have learned that is enduring is that you should only do what you have a genuine interest in, as there is just no point doing anything else.
Jai Q:If you had to pick one track you are most proud of which one would it be and why?
James: Hmm.. It’s difficult, because not only have I covered so many styles and sounds of metal with Ewigkeit, I have also experimented with many different styles of music in general outside of Metal. I’d say I’m still happy with ‘Its Not Reality’ from 2005 – but that’s like a radio-friendly industrial metal track, and pretty far from the new album. Also, I can’t disclude the pride I have for bringing some of the new In The Woods material to fruition either – some of that is a real achievement for me, personally. One thing is certain – I’ve got a shitload more that I want to do and am not content yet – so the best may be yet to come.
Jai Q:What else has Ewigkeit got planned at this stage in 2019?
James: You are going to think I am joking, but I have 3 EPs and a full album in the mostly complete with plans to record a 4th ep before 2020. And thats just for Ewigkeit ! There is a new Old Forest album coming soon and then we will be playin some shows with In The Woods and starting a new album of that material also. And there are other projects…. I like to keep BUSY.
Jai:James Fogarty thank you again for making the time for Crannk and Myself.
Many thanks for your interest and support – be sure to check out the new Ewigkeit which is available to hear in it’s entirety on YouTube, and stream through your music apps. Buy the CD if yoiu’re over 30 (cos no other fucker does !) and be sure to add yourself to the Ewigkeit Facebook page to get the 2 or 3 free EPs that I have coming out very soon !
Ewigkeit FB https://www.facebook.com/ewigkeitofficial/
In The Woods Bandcamphttps://inthewoods-no.bandcamp.com/
In The Woods FB https://www.facebook.com/inthewoodsomnio/
Ewigkeit Full length Albums
‘Battle Furies’ – 1997
‘Starscape’ – 1999
‘Land of Fog’ – 2000 * – released in 2003
— on hiatus —
‘Radio Ixtlan’ – 2004
‘Conspiritus’ – 2005
— on hiatus —
‘Back to Beyond’ – 2013
‘Cosmic Man’ – 2015
‘Battle Furies 2.017’ –
In The Woods
‘Cease The Day’ 2018